Heading into week three the Raiders find themselves in a must win situation early. Trying to recover form an 0-3 start with Baltimore, Atlanta, New Orleans, and five division games still ahead the 0-2 Raiders must take a stand at home against the Steelers if they are to have any hopes of salvaging the season.Coming into week three the Raiders find themselves 0-2 , and even though Oakland has a healthy Darren McFadden they find themselves with the 31st rushing offense in the league. McFadden has had an anemic 26 carries in the 1st two weeks of 2012, a problem that must be corrected if the Raiders are to make a go of it . McFadden has been having trouble finding the holes in Knapp's new zone blocking scheme, and if the he is to turn it around Knapp will have to be more flexible with his play calling and allow McFadden at least a few opportunities to do what he does best . McFadden excels when he knows where the hole is going to be, and can hit it full speed.Untill he picks up the new scheme, for him to have success Oakland needs to find a way to get him closer to 20 carries, and Knapp needs to install at least a couple of plays that allow him to do what he does best.
Though not pretty Oakland comes into week 3 surprisingly with the 3rd ranked passing attack in the NFL. If Oakland can give Carson Palmer the protection he needs Palmer could become a force for the silver and black, if he can get the ball out on time, and cut back on the misfires. Palmer has made some big plays under pressure, turning sacks into completions, but must pull the trigger when he has McFadden wide open on the goal line for 6 points as he failed to do last week in Miami, leaving Oakland to settle for three. Palmer repeatedly misfires and throws high to wide open receivers running free across the middle of the field. He continues to force throws and try to make things happen when all he really needs to do is get the ball out on time. Though Knapp could help him out by opening up the offense earlier in the game so that Palmer has more than 12 minutes to work with, and installing some running plays that cater to McFadden's strengths to help keep the pressure off the passing attack.
In order for this team to have any success against the Steelers the run defense must improve. The Raiders have far too much talent on the defensive line to be 31st in the league in rushing defense. The Raiders entered the season painfully thin at the corner back position for the 2nd year in a row, and if the defense cannot stop the run or the pass this team can co no where. The Raiders have been giving Michael Huff reps at corner this week to give you some idea how bad things have gotten there. Coach Allen is dangerously close to losing control of this team, and there may be no recovering from an 0-3 start. If Allen cannot lead this team to a win at home against a very tough Steelers team he may just loose more than the game, or any chance to salvage the season. He may just lose his team for the season. Nobody is saying Allen is in jeprody of losing his job week three, but if his team quits on him before the bye it could be a very long season for Raider fans.